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Iran Says Witness In Journalist Death Imposter

2 April 2005 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry has labeled as an "imposter" a man offering new evidence about the death in Iran of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

Shahram Azam, who recently received political asylum in Canada, says he is a former staff physician in Tehran's Baqiatollah military hospital. Kazemi died in the hospital in 2003, days after being arrested for taking pictures outside an Iran's Evin prison.

Azam told the Canadian press on 30 March that he had examined Kazemi's body and found signs she had been raped and tortured (see "RFE/RL Newsline" coverage here).

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said today Baqiatollah officials denied that a person named Azam had ever been on their medical team.

Azam fled Iran last August and gained political asylum in Canada with the help of Kazemi's son, Stephan Hashemi.